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"What I have in my stories is ethics. Ethics and morality are very different cups of tea. I adhere to a very strict rigor of personal ethics and I demand it of those around me as well."
- Harlan Ellison

Rhetorizer  
  A computerized assistant for writers.  

Ever needed help with your writing? A pity that you don't have a rhetorizer to help you write on any subject.

...he seated himself at the rhetorizer, touched its on-tab...

At the keyboard of the rhetorizer he typed, carefully, the substantive he wanted. Squirrel. Then, after a good two minutes of sluggish, deep thought, the limiting adjective smart.

"OK," he said, and sat back, and touched the rerun tab.

The rhetorizer, as Colleen reentered the room with her tall drink, began to construct for him in the aud-dimension. "It is a wise old squirrel," it said tinnily (it possessed only a two-inch speaker), "and yet its wisdom is not its own; nature has endowed it-"

"Aw, God," Joe Adams said savagely and slapped off the sleek, steel and plastic machine with all its many microcomponents; it became silent.

"Dear," Colleen said and sighed. "I only heard you give it two semantic units; give it more to ogpon."

"I'll give it plenty to ogpon." He touched the on-tab and typed an entire sentence. 'The well-informed dead rat romped under the pink log.'

"When's the speech due?"

"Tomorrow night."

The rhetorizer, in its cricket's voice, intoned folksily...

From The Penultimate Truth, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Belmont Productions in 1964
Additional resources -

J.G. Ballard used a similar device in his wonderful Vermillion Sands stories. See the entry for the verse transcriber.

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  More Ideas and Technology from The Penultimate Truth
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